The People’s Summit, Progressive and Labor Conference in Chicago

Chicago, IL – On June 9th through 11th, there will be a large gathering in Chicago of leaders of key progressive organizations and activists, the second such convening in two years.

The People’s Summit is a “big gathering of progressive activists” and organizations committed to a People’s Agenda to “enhance and expand issue campaigns and hold all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality and freedom.”

4 Goals of the Summit on display – Democratize Economy, Guaranteed Healthcare, Housing & Education, End Racism

Headlining speakers at the summit include Naomi Klein, Bernie Sanders, RoseAnn DeMoro, and Shaun King. Twenty-four groups are included on a partial list of supporting organizations of the summit, which will be held at McCormick Place, the site of the 2012 G8 NATO summit.

Unicorn Riot is on the ground documenting the three-day gathering. Check out our introduction to The People’s Summit in Chicago.

Check out the livestream below that will be live on and off throughout the weekend.




On Saturday some of our crew left McCormick Place briefly to document the Chicago counter-demonstration against the nationwide anti-Muslim “March Against Sharia.”

The location for the Chicago anti-Islam demonstration was the intersection of Wacker and Wabash, where the sky overhead is partially dominated by the Trump tower across the river. Hundreds of local community members and antifascist organizers were present to protest the demonstration.

While we were at the counter-protest, we spoke to a local organizer, Jay Becker, who talked about the disconnect from The People’s Summit conference (watch video below):

So, we we’re at The People’s Summit yesterday to talk about that, and we were really urging people to come today. Look at — take a break from this, okay? We didn’t choose this date; they chose it, the fascists chose it.  And if we don’t stand up to them every time, honestly, especially in a city like Chicago … I’m just calling on people at The People’s Summit to come to grips with this and not pretend that we’re gonna build a better world without stopping the fascism.” – Jay Becker, ‘March Against Sharia’ counter protestor

Inside the convention center, we spoke with Alice Speri, a journalist with The Intercept who was one of the authors to break the story regarding leaked documents from Dakota Access Pipeline security contractor TigerSwan.

Read The Intercept’s reports on the TigerSwan Leaks – Part One / Part Two

Unicorn Riot’s analysis of the TigerSwan documents: DAPL Security Leak Shows Coordinated Surveillance and Repression of Water Protectors

The booth of progressive independent news magazine In These Times had shelves of books collected to be sent to youth prisoners.

Saturday night, many attendees at the summit’s large, expensive venue were schmoozing on the convention floor, which featured a ‘data bar’ lounge with couches, red carpet, and a selfie station.  Hanging above all that was a banner reading “SOCIALIZE.”


We spoke with Code Pink’s co-founder Medea Benjamin.

To help our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:

More from Unicorn Riot 🦄